President Rodrigo Duterte has not been visible to the public this week because of paperwork and private meetings, his spokesman and former aide said Friday.
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President Duterte was last seen in public attending the 118th year of police service in Camp Crame, Quezon City, on Aug. 9. He has had no public engagements since then.
“He has a lot of private meetings, courtesy calls. He told me last night he had many papers [to read], Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters.
“The problem with us lawyers is we read the papers before signing them It takes so much of his time, Panelo said.
He described Duterte as a “workaholic.”
Senator Christopher Go, Duterte’s former aide, said the President was in his hometown.
“[He’s in] Davao. Signing papers, etc. I’m with him last night,” Go told Manila Standard in a text message.
Last week, Duterte attended several events, including the oath-taking of newly-appointed government officials and the assembly of city and province leaders. He also went to Iloilo following the sea mishap in Iloilo-Guimaras Strait where he provided financial assistance to the families of the fatalities.
The Palace could not tell if the President would have a public engagement next week. Duterte is rumored to have failing health, which officials have been denying.
He is scheduled to visit China later this month to discuss with Chinese President Xi Jinping the territorial dispute on the West Philippine Sea.